Canada’s Provincial Ministers for immigration, who met in Saint John, New Brunswick, on July 28 to discuss immigration policy issues has agreed to develop a multi-year Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allocation plan. At present, though Canada sets federal immigration levels plan for a period of three years, PNP allocations are determined on an annual basis. The provincial ministers agreed to determine the multi-year PNP plan by March 31, 2023. The decision was taken at the meeting of Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI). FMRI is comprised of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial immigration ministers. They meet every year for discussing immigration issues related to national importance. It is in fact a decision-making body that aims to support a flexible, timely and effective immigration system for Canada.
Multi-year Immigration Levels Plan for PNPs
In a press conference that happened after the meeting, Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has said that the precise number of increased PNP allocations for each province and territory has not been fixed yet. He said the federal government needed to make follow-up conversations with provinces and territories for ensuring that these provinces and territories have the settlement capacity required to welcome more newcomers.
The federal multi-year Immigration Levels Plan was launched in 2017 with an aim to help stakeholders such as government, settlement sector and employers to plan in advance for increased immigration levels. Currently, Canada is being guided by the Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024. The next Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025 will be tabled by Minister Fraser on November 1st.
At present, the immigration allocation for each province is set on an annual basis. However, by the end of March 2023, provinces and territories will be informed of their total PNP allocation for the next three years. So the province and territory will be able to plan ahead. They would also get time to plan the best use of their allocation and take steps to process PNP applications in the most efficient and time-saving manner.
Canada Provincial Nominee Program
Canada introduced Provincial Nominee Program in 1998 with an aim to distribute the benefits of immigration evenly across various territories and provinces. Before that, immigrants used to settle in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. So other provinces, especially the Atlantic and Prairie provinces were denied of the benefits of immigration. Hence, the Provincial Nominee Program was introduced. In 1999, the number of PNP immigrants was just 400. But in the current year, Canada will be welcoming 80000 immigrants through PNP. The number will be over 90000 in 2024.